Valerie brought back some guy Sanguis didn’t know. Really, that was probably everybody she knew. Sanguis assumed their social circles- well, her circles and his former circles, didn’t overlap.
“Why have you brought me here to talk in front of a dead man?” The man sounded important. Authoritative.
Sanguis held up an arm. “Not dead.” It didn’t hurt to move his arms.
“A dying man, then.”
“Actually, probably not dying.”
“Yes, of course, and I don’t drink blood.” The man sounded unconvinced.
“Hey, I’m having a conversation, aren’t I?” Sanguis wasn’t actually sure about that. He was beginning to consider the possibility that he was insane.
“…Yes, I suppose so.” The man turned towards Valerie. “Where did you find this… human?”
Valerie looked away awkwardly. “Well, he was kinda in an alleyway… bleeding to death.”
“You picked him up… from an alley? Obviously, he wasn’t bleeding to death.”
Sanguis spoke up again, “I dunno, if you saw this much blood, wouldn’t you think I’d be dead?”
“Oh please, that’s hardly any blood.”
“Ok, well, I’d ask that you look above me, and take a sniff.”
“What could possibly be-” the man came to a sudden stop. His eyes couldn’t believe the large sphere of blood he saw floating above Sanguis. “That’s not solid blood, right? Just… a bubble. Surely?”
“Are you kidding me? I’ve been here for like half an hour. Of course it’s full. Well, not that I’d have believed that at all a few days ago.”
The man got a serious expression. “Valerie, I can see why you thought it was important I come here. So, explain.”
“Oh! Did you tell him about the silver bullets?” Sanguis floated them up in a bowl, as he’d done before.
Valerie put her face in her hands. “Yes, Sanguis, I told him about the hunters. Just shut up for a minute.” Sanguis almost responded, but didn’t. “Alright, Michael, it’s as you see. Also, I’d like to point out that he claims he wasn’t a blood mage before a few days ago.”
“Yeah, after I met you and read your book.”
Valerie glared at Sanguis. “So, know anything? I know we need to be quick, but you don’t have to go into detail.”
“…I might,” Michael said. “But nothing I could explain in short order. You… can you walk?”
“Sanguis.” He sat up. “Ugh! Maybe?”
“Then let’s go.”
Valerie went over to help him up. Sanguis got to his feet with a grimace. “Hey, umm… are you just gonna leave your stuff here?”
Valerie shook her head. “We can’t bring it all, and most of it isn’t worth much anyway. I have most of those books as ebooks anyway.”
“…How about the tome of blood magic?”
“Wh… why would that be an ebook?”
“Why not? There are pdfs of the Voynich Manuscript.”
“Yeah… but… No, I don’t have an ebook of that.”
“I want to bring it.”
“Alright, just wait here while I grab it.”
Sanguis had to support himself with arms of his own blood when she stopped supporting him and headed for the stairs.
Michael gave him an incredulous look. “You’ve only been a blood mage for a few days? Highly doubtful. You’re supporting a sphere, a bowl, and two arms strong enough to hold you up.”
Sanguis shrugged, then grimaced more. “I dunno, is that not normal? I used to pretend I had telekinesis a lot, so maybe that counted as practice?” Sanguis looked at the bowl of blood supporting the silver bullets. “I forgot about that. Should I throw them away, or put them in my pocket or something?”
“Are you crazy, why would you- actually, I guess it’s safe for you to touch them, so yes, please put them in a pocket so we can look at them later.” Michael looked slightly preoccupied with other thoughts.
After a short car ride, Sanguis found himself entering what he would have considered something like a secret vampire base. The entrance was in an underground parking building. On the way inside he saw several people that were obviously members of some kind of security team. Sanguis wondered if it was alright for him to see the inside of a secret vampire base.
The first place he was brought to was a bedroom of some kind. It was very bare bones, with just a bed. Sanguis staggered inside, not because his legs were weak, but because his upper body hurt, and he hadn’t figured out what not to move yet. It didn’t help that the blood magic book was kind of heavy. Then, suddenly, the giant ball of blood he’d been carrying with him fell to the floor, as the door slammed shut behind him.
Sanguis attempted to move the blood, but it just sat there on the floor. He turned to the door. “So, this is some kind of… anti-blood-magic prison?”
“He knows. Sounds like a pretty well informed spy,” Michael said from outside the door.
“Oh come on, don’t you read any fiction? It’s pretty obvious.” Sanguis paused for a second. “…Still want the bullets?”
Voices whispered too loudly outside the door. “…didn’t take the bullets?” “…thought you had them!” “…carry them in my hands?”
The voices of Valerie and Michael went away for a few minutes, then there was an awkward knock at the door, and a small hatch opened up. A hand, presumably Valerie’s, stuck through the door with a jar. “Umm, can we please have the bullets?”
Sanguis sighed. “Are you going to let me out of here?”
He saw Valerie squirm awkwardly on the other side. “It’s not my choice. I trust you but the others don’t necessarily. After we do a background check, you should be let go… probably.”
Sanguis sighed again. Then he dropped bullets into the jar. “There’s not much to learn about me. I had a job researching at the university. My wallet was stolen, and my bank account was empty anyway. Tell somebody to start looking there. Hopefully, they’ll find the truth and believe it.”
“So, what do you see Simmons?”
Simmon strolls around in front of the apartment. “Breaking and entering.” The door swings open, but he doesn’t go inside. Instead, he turns around and looks at the area around. “Blood trail… Dry, though.”
“That’s not important right now. Well, not immediately.”
Simmons frowns, then nods. Inside, a few splashes of blood. Then, the basement. A bloody bed. “Another murder scene, another missing body.”
The other officer nods. “You’re not wrong, but you’re not quite right.”
“Oh? Find the body out back?”
The officer shakes his head. “It’s just… it’s the same body that’s missing. The DNA matches on the blood, but there’s enough in both places to find a body.”
Simmons frowns. “Twins?”
The officer shrugs. “Maybe. Could be the same perp, wanted to kill both… or offed the wrong one first. The trail from the first scene led here, eventually. That’s how we found this place. In that case, though, the first body was brought here, the twin was here or showed up, someone killed the other twin, then got rid of both bodies.”
Simmons shakes his head. “Nah. Too stupid.”